The Impact of the Civil War on American Civilization

Today I am writing about the impact of the American Civil War on the American people’s lives. I am writing this paper for my English class. In order to make sure that this paper is meaningful to others, I am not just going to list things that affected people of that time, but rather things that still affect people today. What I mean by this is that, for instance, some of the language used today was started back when the Civil War was occurring. I chose this topic because this was one of the most significant events from the 19th century, and it also affected life from that time to today even. Since I made that statement, I think that you can guess what time period this all took place in. It took place in the 1800s to 1899. Now most people don’t know when the Civil War actually began, but it began in 1861, making it a viable option for this paper’s time period. Another reason that I chose this event, is because when I wrote about the Civil War last week, I enjoyed it a lot. Although that is true, I thought that I needed to elaborate a little bit more on the topic. So when this assignment was announced I figured that it would be the perfect opportunity to do just that. The reason that I felt the need to elaborate on that is because, when I wrote that essay I didn’t feel as though everyone really truly understood the impact that this war had on the American people of that time and today. Yes, it may surprise many of you, but it does have an impact on today. If you have ever seen a show where someone goes back in time and fixes something and the future is different, then you know how this event affected today’s world. So if this war hadn’t happened, the way we live today could be quite different than it is right now. For instance, you could be rich right now, and then all of a sudden you are poor because the war never happened. Or the opposite you could be poor and then you are rich. Another possible thing that could happen would be that trains wouldn’t be built yet and then cars would cease to exist as well. All of these possible changes, whether good or bad, would definitely impact the way we live and then people would not be doing the things that they do today. My name is Caleb also known as Homeschooled Hero. I hope you enjoy this essay!

One of the biggest impacts, caused by the Civil War, was on politics. I say politics because some of the Civil war was fought because of politics. For an example of an impact of politics, was the addition of the 13th amendment. The 13th amendment was the abolishment of slavery. This was considered as a win for the Union. What that means is, that the Union won the war. The Union actually didn’t win the war and neither did the Confederacy. The country really won the war. This is because when the war was over, that was the first step towards reuniting the country past it’s former glory. Another impact of politics was the addition of the 14th amendment. The 14th amendment stated that anyone born in the country was legally an American citizen. This officially started the point in which people would illegally try to cross the American border to give birth to American citizens and then become obligated to stay. (Which is one of the things that President Elect Trump is trying to stop) Like I said earlier, this war can have serious impacts to the people of the past that can stay until today and still be problems. This is one of the best examples of one of those. After the war, the 15th amendment was set into place. The 15th amendment stated that all men could vote regardless of race (Asian, Indian, Black, White, etc.) This was one of the best amendments to pass because, it gave women something to use as “ammunition” to start woman’s Suffrage. (The right  to vote! Not to suffer) One Social impact that happened was the Homestead Act being initiated. The Homestead Act was written by Abraham Lincoln to get people to migrate westward by providing 160 acres of public land. Although this sounds good, there were some conditions to the land, you had to live 5 years of continuous residence before the land would be legally theirs. Then after that newspapers started censoring battlefield pictures. This was a good thing because nobody really wants to see dead bodies on the front page of the newspaper. I think that they still do this to this day. One of the biggest impacts on American life was the creation of the Ku Klux Klan. I am not willing to talk about what this organization did so that is something that you have to do yourself. Another impact were the Jim Crow Laws. These laws started the legal segregation of blacks and whites. This is one of the biggest issues that people have ever had. Many people try as hard as they can to try and “make up” for this ever happening. Another impact was that Federal law began to trump States’ rights in certain issues. I think that this is important because if a state does something illegal we need something to correct the problem created by going straight to the root of the issue.

Aside from having political and social impacts, the Civil War also had impacts on Medical advancements. The Civil war allowed for medical students (who at the time had poor medical training) to get good medical training. It also allowed to help create modern hospital organizations. This is good because, otherwise there would only be one hospital branch that would most likely be over-staffed. The Civil War also allowed for medical staff to learn embalming techniques. This is good because you never know when you are going to be required to use this technique in that field of practise. Another good impact on the Medical field was the development of safer surgical techniques. If we didn’t learn these techniques, the surgical practises that medical students learn today wouldn’t exist and a lot of people would be lost because they couldn’t surgically fix what needed to be fixed. Another medical advancement was a more advanced and overall better anesthesia. For those of you who don’t know, anesthesia is, according to Wikipedia, “In the practice of medicine and dentistry, anesthesia or anaesthesia is a temporary induced state with one or more of analgesia, paralysis, amnesia, and unconsciousness.” – Wikipedia. This is a good thing because if the past anesthesia was bad, then people definitely could have died because they have used it. Once the need for medical attention arose on a very large scale, the need for organized ambulances and nurse corp was created. This was good because when they needed medical attention, the ambulance and nurse corps would be on their way trying to help them.

This significantly affected American lives. Whether it be for better or worse, you cannot deny that these things are A) Important to know and B) large changes in the way people lived at the time.  Since this affected every single American, I thought it would be important to include in this essay about the impacts of the Civil War on American life. If these hadn’t happened many people might not be here today and some people might just be very sick. Either way, it’s very bad and nobody would want that, unless you are a supervillain…

The Civil War also had an impact on cultural legacy. One way that it had an impact on this is through our holidays and the way we play. For example, there once was a holiday called juneteenth day or Emancipation Day. I think that this holiday was celebrating the day the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Also, Memorial day was started. Another example was when Thomas Nast popularized the image of Santa Claus. This is yet another example in which we are still affected by today. What I mean by this is almost everyone, when the are young, believes in Santa Claus. This is one of the most famous creations in the world and it came as a result of the Civil War. (Crazy right!?) Also, a lot of authors started writing about this conflict, when I say a lot I really mean a lot. There were about 65,000 books written on this topic. There are far more books written about the Civil War than any other topic in American history. They even made movies such as Gone with the Wind, Glory and Cold Mountain. Once all was said and done, there were more than 70 National Park Service Civil War sites. One crazy thing that happened was the creation of Civil War trading cards and blue and gray toy soldiers.

Although most won’t know this, we actually made some technological advances because of the Civil War. I think that this is a good thing because it allows for us to do more important things such as travel great distances in shorter time. One advancement that we made was the production of 15,000 miles of new Telegraph lines, which reached the West Coast. We also realized the need for canned goods. So, we mass produced canned goods in order to, not only feed troops, but to feed the people as well. I think that this is a good thing because most of the rations were being given to the troops so canned goods were an important thing for pretty much everyone. We also developed the ability to take battlefield photos. Though this ability didn’t last long because the photos were soon censored. We also started working on the Transcontinental Railroad, which would half travel time and make it a little more enjoyable for people.

We made some very significant Military advancements as well. These are important because without them we wouldn’t have been able to fight the wars that we did after the Civil War. One advancement the we made was the development of cartridge ammunition. This was important because the muskets used at the time, were single bullet. Meaning you had one shot before you had to reload. Another significant advancement was the creation of a repeating rifle. This means that it could use the cartridge ammunition to fire several times before needing to reload. This was also important because it meant that we (as in the soldiers) had a higher chance of surviving if they don’t need to reload after each shot. We also developed the commonly known, today at least, machine guns. Next we focus on the Navy, we started to develope submarines. These would make travel much easier and also make it harder for our enemies to spot us. One funny thing that we created was the Hot-Air balloon. This is one of the things that everyone has heard about if not seen pictures of them. We also created soldier I.D tags which were used in order to identify the dead bodies. We also created land mines to try and make it harder for bad guys to get to us. We also started practising trench warfare. This is where we would dig a trench and learn how to kill people (while in the trench) without them being able to get to us. Trench warfare is still used today in some places, in order for us to keep cover. Sometimes, we need to use trench warfare so that we can hide from other people.

In conclusion, we have made many advancements over the course of time. The Civil War has helped in ways that many people (even myself) don’t understand how. Please like and don’t forget to subscribe! Coming soon, Homeschooled Hero: YouTube channel!

Until Next time, your friendly neighborhood Homeschooler…

Bibliography

All of my information came from:

http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/history/info-06-2011/civil-war-changed-american-life.html

My Mom and my Dad gave me some of the information needed. (I asked questions along the way)

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